Man who handed Alec Baldwin gun on ‘Rust’ set previously fired by NWA film company for similar mishap


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — An accidental shooting death on a movie set continues to make headlines across the country. Tuesday, the Associated Press reported a man who handed the gun Alec Baldwin used was fired by a Northwest Arkansas film company for a similar incident.

The Associated Press reported, “a producer for the movie ‘Freedom’s Path’ confirmed that Dave Halls was fired from the 2019 production after a crew member suffered a minor injury ‘when a gun was unexpectedly discharged.'”

Halls handed a gun to Alec Baldwin before yelling “cold gun,” investigators told AP. Baldwin then shot a cinematographer, who later died, and injured another person.

Chuck Meré is a KNWA/Fox24 employee and a local actor. He acted in “Freedom’s Path” in a scene that utilized a gun.

“I played a union soldier who gets shot in the back,” Meré said.

The movie is set to come out next year, and Meré said he’s not sure whether Halls was on set at the time he was there.

“You trust that person literally with your life,” Meré said. “It’s disconcerting.”

Meré said the thought he dodged a tragedy has crossed his mind.

“Absolutely,” Meré said. “Honestly, I thought that could’ve been me on the day because accidents do happen.”

Meré said even prop weapons are checked many times, but he doesn’t think it’s worth continuing to use blanks in films.

“This isn’t the 90s anymore,” Meré said. “There’s no reason to use blanks. There are great alternatives to that.”

Meré said he thinks the filmmaking industry will make some changes.

“We pretend for a living,” Meré said. “It should be safe.”

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